Officials Applaud Allocation of Funds in State Budget for Regional Youth Detention Center in Gwinnett County

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In a significant move to address juvenile justice needs, the establishment of a Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) in Gwinnett County has been announced, drawing praise from key officials. House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration, Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor, and Juvenile Court Judge Robert Waller welcomed the allocation of $3.8 million in the state’s FY 25 budget to kickstart the RYDC project.

The absence of a dedicated RYDC in Gwinnett County has necessitated the use of facilities in neighboring counties, straining resources and complicating logistics for law enforcement and court personnel. The inclusion of funds in the FY 25 budget marks a significant step toward addressing this gap.

“I want to thank Governor Kemp for including these important funds in his FY 25 budget proposal and House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett for keeping those funds in the House version,” said Majority Leader Efstration, emphasizing the importance of the RYDC in enhancing community safety and supporting law enforcement efforts.

Sheriff Keybo Taylor highlighted the benefits of having a local RYDC, stating, “Gwinnett law enforcement will be accommodated by eliminating the requirement to transport juveniles across counties,” emphasizing the positive impact on families, particularly those in single-parent, minority, and at-risk households.

Judge Robert Waller expressed enthusiasm for the project, noting, “The Juvenile Court enthusiastically supports the development of the proposed Gwinnett RYDC,” emphasizing the potential for better outcomes for juveniles and their families with a facility closer to home.

Governor Kemp’s inclusion of funds to address this issue was commended, with a recognition of Gwinnett County’s obligation to provide rehabilitation programs for juvenile offenders.

HB 916, the FY 25 budget, will now proceed to the Senate for further consideration, with the establishment of the RYDC poised to provide essential support to troubled adolescents and alleviate strain on the juvenile justice system in Gwinnett County.

More information about the budget can be found at legis.ga.gov.